Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Long-lost records confirm rising sea level

21.01.2003


The discovery of 160 year old records in the archives of the Royal Society, London, has given scientists further evidence that Australian sea levels are rising.



Observations taken at Tasmania’s Port Arthur convict settlement 160 years ago by an amateur meteorologist have been compared with data from a modern tide gauge.

"There is a rate of sea level rise of about 1mm a year, consistent with other Australian observations," says Dr David Pugh, from the UK’s Southampton Oceanography Centre.


"This is an important result for the Southern Hemisphere, and especially for Australia, providing a benchmark against which Australian regional sea level can be measured in 10, 50 or 100 years time," says Dr Pugh.

Working with Dr Pugh on the three year project were the University of Tasmania’s Dr John Hunter, Dr Richard Coleman and Mr Chris Watson.

In 1837, a rudimentary tide gauge was made by the amateur meteorologist, Thomas Lempriere and probably installed in the nearby Port Arthur settlement.

In 1841 Lempriere cut a benchmark, in the form of a broad arrow, on a vertical rock face on the Isle of the Dead, which was used as a cemetery for the Port Arthur complex.

The discovery of two full years of carefully recorded measurements (1841 and 1842) of average sea level was the start of a scientific quest through early European history in Tasmania.

CSIRO oceanographer Dr Bruce Hamon, researching Lempriere’s work in 1985, concluded that the surviving benchmark would not be of scientific value today.

"The position of course would be different if Lempriere’s original observations ever came to light," Dr Hamon wrote.

In addition to discovering the ’lost’ files, the project involved analysis of 19th century sea level data, and a suite of modern measurement and analysis techniques.

Dr Hunter said that scientific and popular interest in possible rises of global sea level, with attendant increased risks of coastal flooding have emphasised the need for a long time series of sea level measurements.

"Unfortunately, few records exist from the nineteenth century, and even fewer have well documented benchmark information against which changes can be monitored.

"At Port Arthur we have a unique series of sea level measurements.

"Our research during this project has shown that the work of John Franklin, James Clark Ross and Thomas Lempriere generated a significant benchmark long before any effect of global warming was apparent.

"The scientific interest at the time was the question of vertical motion or uplifting of the continents rather than changes in volume of the oceans.

"Our observations are consistent with the lower end of estimates by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and with records from Fremantle and Fort Denison," Dr Hunter said.

Measurements have been taken at Fremantle for 91 years and at Fort Denison, Sydney for 82 years.

The project was funded by the Southampton Oceanography Centre, CSIRO, the University of Canberra and the University of Tasmania. The results of the study have been published in the International Hydrological Review.

More information from:

Dr John Hunter, University of Tasmania, 03-62262999
Dr Donna Roberts, 03-62262265 or Craig Macaulay, mobile: 0419-966-465
Leane Regan, CSIRO Media 02 6276, 6513, mobile: 0419 236 519


Rosie Schmedding | CSIRO
Further information:
http://www.csiro.au/index.asp?type=mediaRelease&id=Prrecord

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Sediment from Himalayas may have made 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake more severe
26.05.2017 | Oregon State University

nachricht Devils Hole: Ancient Traces of Climate History
24.05.2017 | Universität Innsbruck

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>